Canada ready to allow US dairy access in NAFTA talks

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Canada and the United States will make a final push to iron out differences on a pact to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Friday, with Mexico on standby to return to talks aimed at ending a year of hard-fought negotiations.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, threw cold water on any talk of a quick resolution to outstanding NAFTA issues in April after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a "good deal" is on the table. Freeland is scheduled to attend the Liberals' caucus retreat Wednesday in Saskatoon and it's unclear whether she will return to the US capital late in the week.

The two sides must submit an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by October 1 in order to join the agreement the U.S. with Mexico last month. President Donald Trump has notified Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico, with Canada welcome to join the deal "if it is willing", the White House said Friday.

Trump argues Canada's hefty dairy tariffs are hurting USA farmers, an important political base for his Republican party.

Freeland added that to achieve a NAFTA deal, "It's going to take flexibility on all sides".

"Having said all of that, nothing is done until everything is done" - and that says it all really, but US officials have said time is running out to agree on a text that can be signed by American, Canadian and Mexican leaders by November 30, before the current Mexican government leaves office. "The longer term is not almost as clear", said Ekos pollster Frank Graves."Trade wars are never good for the respective combatants and if this escalates it could have very deleterious economic impacts".

"Canada wants to make a deal".

Trump almost tore up the NAFTA pact past year after visiting farmers in Wisconsin, a major USA dairy producer that Washington says has been hurt by Canadian protectionism.

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"It seems even if we give a lot, the USA keeps asking for more", said Mr. Kronby, an global trade lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais.

"And one of the things that I think we are accomplishing in this agreement is a better deal for Canadian and USA workers in the auto sector".

"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having - and also put into a little bit of historical perspective the importance and the significance of the relationship between Canada and the United States", she said of the anniversary. "I think it will be gone".

As the process grinds on, some in Washington insist Trump can not pull out of NAFTA without the approval of Congress.

His comments echoed Trump, who said on Tuesday that while Ottawa wants a deal, he could go either way, depending on what concessions will come from the talks.

"We're just going to stay working constructively to get to that win, win, win that we know is there". "They're really hammering this out", said Orr, who is now senior global trade adviser for a Washington law firm.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars".

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